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Salena Tramel
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Salena Tramel has worked with social movements and grassroots organizations around the world. Salena has language skills in French, Spanish, Arabic, Haitian Creole, and Romanian. She holds a B.A. in Romance Languages from Point Loma Nazarene University and a M.A. in Sustainable Development with concentrations in Policy Analysis and Advocacy and Conflict Transformation from the School for International Training.

Entries by Salena Tramel

Commemorating the International Day of Peasant Struggle

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 9:46 AM

Sadly, yet not unlike the inception of many commemorative days, the events that inspired the first International Day of Peasant Struggle were soaked with blood. It was April 17, 1996, a calm day in the northern Brazilian municipality of Eldorado dos Carajás, where the country's most renowned social movement, the...

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The True Food Prize Goes to the Haitians

(3) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 4:17 PM

The Iowa state capitol is vibrating with activity this week in preparation for the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony that is set to take place on Thursday. The 2013 World Food Prize credits Monsanto in the fight against hunger through sustainable agriculture -- yet there is a disconnect between...

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Via Campesina and the Fight for Seeds

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 2:12 PM

JAKARTA -- The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Monsanto and its patented seeds last Monday by throwing out a case tirelessly petitioned for by organic farmers. That decision dealt yet another blow to the small-scale agricultural community -- it was only last month that the U.S. Supreme...

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Women of the World's Largest Peasant Movement Call the Shots

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 4:16 PM

JAKARTA--Zubaidah Tambunan is one feisty grandmother. She has gone to outrageous measures to protect Aek Nagaga, her Sumatran agricultural village that is consistently threatened by foreign land-grabbing palm oil investors. She has lain in roads leading to local plantations to physically halt foreign corporations and collaborating local police, implemented a...

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Afghan Elders Describe Cruelest Winter in Charahi Qambar Camp

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 1:49 PM

For the residents of the Charahi Qambar refugee camp, it's been a long five years since they fled the U.S.-led destruction of their villages and put up tents in this destitute Kabul neighborhood. The majority is of Pashtun descent, from Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province, a warlord-torn region notorious for opium...

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Haitians Take on Capitol Hill

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 4:15 PM

On the eve of the State of the Union address, the labyrinthine tunnels connecting congressional offices to the Capitol building were eerily quiet. But turning a corner, an unlikely surge of Caribbean energy came in the form of a delegation of Haitians making their way from the Rayburn Building (where...

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Movements Unite In Mali, Confronting Powerful Interests

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 3:42 PM

Nyéléni, Mali --The National Confederation of Peasant Organization's (CNOP) agroecological training center stands at the crossroads of the West African countryside. Surrounded with rich Malian farmland and dotted with white thatched-roof huts, the Niger River snakes into the horizon on one side, and a dusty road connects the property to...

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Seed Bank on the West Bank

(4) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 5:40 PM

Hebron (Khalil in Arabic) is home to more than 165,000 Palestinians -- making it the largest city in West Bank Palestine. The city is famous for qidreh, a fragrant dish cooked in clay pots, leather shoes and avant-garde glass blown vases. It is notorious for settler violence in the conflict...

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Haitian Movements Branch Out

(1) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 4:02 PM

Away from the televised and broken streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti hosts some scenic worlds. Down south, there are remnants of cloud forests that fade into blue skies, and in the north cacti twist out of rust desert soil. The eye takes in lime green rice fields in the central valleys...

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Uprooted Trees Will not Uproot West Bank Community

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 5:51 PM

The elderly woman sat cross-legged atop a worn tribal carpet on the dirt, her eyes downcast and swollen from tears. Above us, a plastic tarp hanging precariously on sticks flapped loudly in the wind as she began to speak. "You need to know what happened here today," she said in...

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Gaza Diaries: Leaving a Legacy of Seeds

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 4:43 PM

RAFAH, Gaza -- I'm sitting around a table at the Rural Women's Development Society (RWDS) near the Gaza Strip's southernmost border with a group of women discussing grassroots agricultural initiatives and drinking sugary sage tea. For a second, the sound of a war plane suffocates our words. One of the...

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Gaza Diaries: Prison Visits

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 1:27 PM

GAZA CITY -- The turnstile locks behind me and I'm standing in a small metal room. I flashback to the first time I crossed Erez checkpoint last year and remember the claustrophobic feeling of walking into a trap, three small metal doors blending into the steel. This time, I know...

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One Year on in Haiti

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 2:10 PM

Sheer numbers never convey the magnitude of a disaster because they leave out the human stories. News reports offer constant access to images and analysis, but the suffering can just seem too distant at times. And then there are those other times when it hits personally, all in one dreaded...

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Gaza, Then and Now

(120) Comments | Posted January 5, 2011 | 10:55 AM

Year before last, I was sitting in the living room of my childhood home sharing a cup of morning coffee with my mother and musing over the holidays. We laughed over kitschy Christmas gifts from well-meaning relatives before deciding to turn on the news for five minutes on the brink...

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Reimagining Israel's Negev

(65) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 5:06 PM

Down south in the Negev desert, the sounds of jets fill wide-open spaces. Increasing militarization is constant --at least 80% of the land there is used for military training purposes, including weaponry development. The Negev also contains the largest petrochemical processing center in the Middle East and Israel's nuclear facilities....

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Not the Arizona I Knew

(220) Comments | Posted April 27, 2010 | 12:36 PM

Fifty years ago, my maternal grandfather uprooted his family and headed west in search of a better life. My grandmother hated the idea of living in the scorching desert, but understood that Arizona was a place where they could build a future for their children that was unparalleled elsewhere. They...

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Combating Hunger by Reforesting Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2010 | 3:23 PM

Last August, I stood in Haiti's Artibonite valley with several peasant organizers and looked out at the mountains leading up to the Central Plateau. The older leaders in the group explained in depth how green the mountains once were, while the younger organizers and I listened in amazement. The tropical...

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Rebuilding Haiti, with A Rwandan Twist

(3) Comments | Posted February 11, 2010 | 4:01 PM

Tomorrow marks the first of many anniversaries in this new phase of Haiti's history. It has been a month. The earthquake -- known simply as "the incident" to Haitians -- changed everything, instantly dividing their experience into a before and after. Many large NGOs, international institutions and donor countries are...

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Congress, Accountability, and the Goldstone Report

(9) Comments | Posted November 4, 2009 | 9:14 AM

I have been to the Gaza Strip twice and southern Israel once since the 2008-09 war, where I had the opportunity to listen to accounts from both people about what had happened to them during that time. Israelis showed me thickly walled rooms that act as bomb shelters and explained...

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Inside the J Street Conference

(6) Comments | Posted October 28, 2009 | 2:53 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - J Street's first national conference just finished after a three-day whirlwind of events. For an organization that started a little over 18 months ago, bringing more than 1,500 people and nearly 150 members of Congress together to "change the face of pro-Israel advocacy in the United States...

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